[Apocolypse World] Playtest Report

edited March 2010 in Story Games

This is a playtest report for my running of the One Shot featuring blindblue in Apocolypse World.

The game started at 1:30 and we managed to muddle threw character creation by 2:00. Character creation seemed to go mostly smooth, but my poor layout of the playbooks lead to some confusion. People really enjoyed the colour for character creation (things like hard eyes, soft eyes, etc). We had a Hardholder, A Skinner, A Brainer, and a Chopper and play continued til 6.

The play consisted of, intro and running the keep. Then there was raiding for supplies. THen their was much too late investigation, and then defending the city.

Intro and running of the Keep

Just kinda easing everyone into character, the character interactions especially in the one shot, (with the I'm your friend, and I'm your lover, and I love you and all that ) worked really well to start social interactions. The Hardholder's constant replies of 'Goddamn' and "Fuck' as everything and everybody came to rest at his doorstep was pretty spot on I feel. I ended up running the angel as a Dmpc (who ended up being called originally angel) which worked well enough. The Questions and letters from the beginging of the game worked out really well. The biggest conflict of the intro was the Hardholder making the Chopper into the border patrol, after the previous border patrol was wiped out (RIP BA). The conflict also lead into some Alpha dog posing, which lead to bid of leadership by Whychurch, which lead to the Hardholder shooting the poor mans brains out. The Chopper, not wanting to look weak, shot someone in the leg to make up for it.

The Skinner seduced the Hardholder to let the girl micca live at the same time the Brainer mindraped Micca to get the answers out (which revealed how thoroughly horrible the girls life had been, and how she didnt recall stabbing the hardholder via blackout). The Brainer then ended up smuggling micca out and taking the body of Whychurch and flaying all the skin off it, to replace micca and make it look like she was dead. The Brainer and micca end up shacking up after the game... The Skinner also had the first of the :3 faces made by the maelstrom which was offering help and suggesting that the Skinner should be doing something else :3.

During this time I was calling out future badness , saying how the waders weren't fishing as much as they should be because they were sickly, which was promptly meet by the Hardholder sending, Wooden their head enforcer to quell the waders. Mucho hijinks ensued as the Chopper repeatedly used his FUCKING THEIVES ability to find the Hardholder's food stashed in the backpacks. This was pinned on the new guy WIRE (to replace Whychurch) by clever placement of wrappers and canned goods.

While all this was going on the Hardholder and the Chopper got a plan to gather more supplies to make up for the missing food source, and the increased medical supplies needed. The Chopper suggested that someone 'more complicated' go with them to help them raid good stuff. The Angel agreeing with them, volunteered, until the hardholder said no, because they would be royally screwed if their only angel died. The Hardholder then decided to send the angel's assistant instead. The Angel's assistant was Camo her little brother, when the Angel said FUCK NO, the Hardholder had to go aggro to get her to go along.

The low food also got the Skinner and Wooden as the powergirl detective agency to track down where the food was missing from. THey ended up tracking wire down later (with all the signs pointing to him) as he was bartering his bike to the Angel. The Angel pretty clearly was getting the fuck out but the Hardholder was tipped off by the Powergirl Detective Agency. Another struggle between the hardholder and the angel resulted in the angel being taken into custody and the bike lost, at the cost of popping all the hardholder's stiches (because micca got him good right between the ribs). The Angel grudgingly returned to work with a guard Pull, who having bent over to pick up a syringe, got an assfull of sedative, and the angel scaddaled.

The Raid itself (a 30 man gang and a 15 man backup gang from the hardholder) went okay even thought they thought it would be good to raid THRU ambergrease as apposed to arround him. The Angel reappeared at the last minute to try to grab her brother and leave before Chocolate Mint, the Hardholders representative wrastled her and disarmed her. While this was going on , the Chopper pulled his men back and the rest of the Hardholder's gang was destroyed except for Chocomint. The bikers then scadadled with a fair ammount of gear while this was going on the brainer was attempting to put together why everything was going on, eventually finding Madam Olva who was dealing in mind altering and (as we would find out later) infectious substances distilled from mudfish. The Brainer not wanting to man handle the elderly lady, left and returned much later with men to find Madam Olva disappeared.

The Skinner was having a second heart about the Hardholder's appropiateness for leadership, and reached out to Dustwich, who played hard to get , but only a little. The Skinner ended up using her hold of Dustwich to provide more food for the hold and eventually to force Dustwich and the Hardholder to rule together if only for a brief time.

The Hardholder found the angel and tried to talk to her just in time to have Rubik, one of his men, puke blood all over his shoes. The Hardholder picked him up and with the angel went to the infirmy. The Skinner having seen this, got the Brainer and was beinging to put two and two together. This is when the Brainer asked the maelstorm if Madam Olva was working for Ambergrease (yes) and why she was doing what she was doing (to prepare for an attack) at the same time the Maestorm sent a :3 'I'm coming 4 u' mesage to the Skinner and the Chopper realized that Ambergreases gang was getting ready to attack.

The Hardholder went with his Wallgang (lead by the brave peanut) and the Chopper to fight off the Ambergrease gangs (featuring wooden barrels of jet fuel to destroy the shanty town) while the plague finally matured and all the waders and a good chuck of the guard started puking blood. The Skinner and the Brainer ended up huddling in the cells and overall almost everyone died. A badroll to retreat (do something under fire) resulted in a hard choice for the Chopper survive with his gang but all be put to 11pm damage or surivive by himself a 9pm damage. The Chopper leader ran and used disfigurement to ensure survival. The Hardholder with his men managed to fight back the rest of thegangs but at horrible loss. Between the Disease, the fire and the fighting only about 20 people survived in the hachet city (from 200ish) while only about 10 people survived from Ambergrease.

Overall the session was well recieved. We didnt really track experiance advancement or us Hx (we did the prep for it, but no one used any Hx moves) but if we had most of the players would have gotten an advancement. People really seemed to enjoy themselves, and even the non hard characters felt useful and contributive at the same rate and all that. the sex rules where used (and used and used) and they went over pretty well, as well as showing how a 'power behind the throne' could work. Overall it went really smoothly, and aside from perhaps me not being the most certain over the combat flow and the itch to throw dice myself I really couldn't expect any better.


  • Sounds pretty awesome. Glad this worked well for you.

    The key thing to remember about combat flow is that it doesn't really exist in AW. Combat doesn't flow any differently from any other kind of scene. If you can wrap your brain around the idea that you're not building tension towards conflict resolution or doing the step-by-step task resolution thing, you should be good. You just let it ride until someone makes an actual, honest-to-god Move. Then you roll and resolve the Move. And then you keep on letting it ride until another Move is made.
  • yeah but trying to do gangs on gangs like i did at the ambergrease assault and the raid was wonky. Not sure if i should have let it go to one go, or if I should have made them roll more for it. It ended up being 3-4 seperate rolls each, and while their were sides in opposition, not sure if I followed the only move to move 'move' bits correctly.

    And it did work pretty well, even if both of the fronts kinda sneaked up on everyone.
  • edited March 2010
    3-4 rolls for a gang fight seems about right, in my mind. The gang-on-gang fight we ran went like this:

    - A gang of wastelanders on buggies have stopped the train before it pulls into the station. We ride out to check things out. No roll.
    - Some punk saunters up and tells us to get lost. His mistake. I shoot the guy in face. No roll. D-E-A-D.
    - Oh shit they come at us and they have machine guns. I read a charged situation. Roll a semi-success. Okay, think I have a handle on what's going on.
    - We attempt to seize control of train. Fail my roll. Shit, we fall back and those scumbuckets capture a member of my gang (the one I was fucking, no less). I also take some harm. Crapcrapcrap.
    - I turn and ask my mate what we should do. She charges the train. Fuck. Now what do I do? No Roll.
    - We attempt to seize the train again. Roll. Success! I choose to inflict serious damage, take minimal harm, impress others, but not take definitely hold.
    - We roleplay out the aftermath of the fight. No roll.

    Does that seem about like what happened with you?
  • It just seemed a bit repetative, Seize by force , Seize by force , Seize by force/ First the defence fireline , then the main hall, then what the raid was actually after. It worked, but it seems a bit off.

    It was very amusing watching the chopper pull back his men to loot ensuring the death of the hardholders men. All the bits arround it worked well, but the chopper knew what he wanted which was to seize and extinguish the enemies life by force, while making their way threw the compound. It worked (get a hold of it and take little damage came up alot which makes sense) but it seems like i was doing something wrong.

    Also ambergreases minions didnt help as they couldnt really be impressed or frightened. The fights were themselves a little long with the skinner and the brain twiddling their thumbs a bit but not too bad. It may have just been a pacing issue (I did this in 4 hrs but i had to rush it a bit at the end to get the bow on top and everything) also some of this i surpose is my fault for not giving enough colour/constraints. That said , I can see how i can constrain the scene, but not the tempo so much, if the dice fuck em the dice fuck em but when you get to gangs and armour and all that all of a sudden they can take a beating and me pushing forward and reestablishing firing lines isn't so threatening (this is also when the chopper fucked the hardholders men, except for chocomint). I surpose it may just end up counting under the 'different and takes getting used to territory'
  • In my mind, and I'm not AW expert, it seems like you shouldn't necessarily have to hold off rolling for what you really want until after you've seized other objectives. You should just be able to seize what you're after right from the get-go. But you're not likely to nail it on the first roll unless you're super-great at something, so better off reading the situation first to get the bonus points for each relevant detail. Or maybe you seize what you want, but that's not going to stop the other guys from trying to kill your asses, either now or later.

    But the other folks who've actually run AW can probably speak better on pacing and running enemy gangs.
  • Posted By: Logos7t just seemed a bit repetative, Seize by force , Seize by force , Seize by force/ First the defence fireline , then the main hall, then what the raid was actually after. It worked, but it seems a bit off.
    Hmmm. I don't know exactly how you're running it, of course, but don't forget, if they're just going "I seize it by force!" your job is to ask "How?" Get them to describe their actions, not just roll the dice! And don't forget to make your moves, too. If they're just doing the same thing over and over, well, a predictable pattern that enemies can exploit sounds like handing the MC an opportunity on a golden platter to me. Even if they're not, there's a lot you can do to set things up. Announce future badness, Tell them the possible consequences and ask, Offer an opportunity with or without a cost, Make a threat move, whatever. A lot can happen in the chaos of a firefight.

    I especially like, now that I think about it, the potential of "Tell them the possible consequences and ask" in the middle of complicated situations, a move I admittedly haven't made as much use of in actual play. Things like "Hey, with a straightforward assault like the one you've got planned, whoever is in front is gonna suck up a lot of enemy fire. Who's leading the charge?" And then, if they just give you a name and don't try to adjust their strategy or anything, that's handing you another opportunity on a golden platter for "take their stuff" or "inflict harm", regardless of what they roll.
  • Hey, J, thanks for posting this!

    I was the Brainer, and had a good time--it was a fun game, and I think everyone got really into it from the get-go. Quickly, my comments:

    1. The scenario (one-shot), was absolutely brilliantly put together, at least from the players' perspective (I haven't read the scenario yet). Vincent did a great job baking in a situation but making it contigent on a few rolls and some interesting player decisions. For instance, I chose to be in love with Micca, the supposed spy, who was at once my beloved and my torture victim, which was a pretty icky turn of events but felt very appropriate to "Apocalypse World".

    However, the scenario itself felt pretty large-scale for a four-hour game. Hundreds of people dying and fighting? It was quite a transition moving from personal stakes (seductions, fights, etc) to the larger conflict of the survival of the hardhold, and I wonder why such a large-scale scenario was chosen for this one-shot. Or was it the Hardholder's player's choice to set the size of Hatchet City, etc?

    2. The various moves and constraints placed on the various characters work really, really well to create these kinds of fucked-up situations. As mentioned above, we found out pretty much out of the gate that the Chopper's crew was stealing everyone's food, the Skinner is sleeping with both of the rival Hardholders, and trying to use her sex move to get them to cooperate. I really can't see how that could go wrong, can you? (Although, this being a one-shot, she actually pulled it off in this case!) Delicious stuff.

    3. I had the same issues with combat that Logos7 mentions: although I'm sure being "on the clock" (we were trying to finish by 6:00, sharp, and almost did) had a lot to do with the lack of color injected into the combat scenes, they were, nevertheless, easily devolving into "roll, subtract harm done", kind of a la AD&D. This is a bit of a danger, I felt, and which made it seem a bit like some of my "trad" RPG experiences of the past, particularly with something like AD&D.

    I can see how Vincent's advice in the book can be applied to avoid this kind of thing, but it requires a certain skill and discipline on the part of all the players. Compared to, say, Dogs in the Vineyard, where it's hard not to make conflict dramatic or centered in the fiction. In this game, we had quite a bit of stuff like:

    "OK, so the two gangs are shooting at each other. What do you do now?"
    "Well, I'm going to seize by force."
    "Well, we're in a shootout, duh!"
    "OK, roll the dice... Inflict terrible harm? Alright, I'll check off 3 harm from their clock."

    I think we all found it easy to fall into that a few times, which definitely removes some of the "aliveness" and hard choices of the play style I see as intended. It occurred mostly in the large-scale combat scenes, but came up once in a while in other situations, as well. In other words, I didn't feel "more connected" to the fiction in Apocalypse World than I do in, say, In a Wicked Age.... (Also, see point 5, related to this.)

    4. The GM did a great job pushing the badness of the overall situation, making things grim and go to shit all around us, which seemed very in-genre, and put some fire on all of our asses. However, I think the GM might have softballed it a bit when it came to making hard moves after failed rolls. Part of that was just to give us some chance to make it through: things were going downhill so fast already, punishing us after failed rolls might have been taking things too far.

    I think that, if something terrible happened every time we failed a roll, we might indeed have shied away from the dice as much as possible. Which ties into point 5:

    5. I felt really unsure in play what I could do to improve my odds. It seems like you roll+stat, pretty much every time, and that's your odds, which are never too good. But most of the moves available to you are really interesting and fun, so you want to go ahead and make them whenever you have an opportunity. However, if something you really care about is at stake, you fear to roll at all, because the odds of doing poorly are so high.

    I was thinking about this after play, and I could see two ways of improving one's odds: one is to have several PCs help you. (Although I think Vincent said somewhere that he'll hand out a +1 or two from NPC help, as well. Is that so?) The other is to choose situations where the downsides are not too great. (Which is why the Brainer and Skinner baricaded themselves in the concrete underground at the end, with a pain-wave projector ready to drive away any intruders.) But in that case, your fate is pretty much in the GM's hands: he or she may give you an easy out (as the GM sometimes did, to good effect, in this game), but she may screw you over, too.

    Sometimes, you can do something that gives you a "+1 forward", but this only happened once in the whole game, and I, as the Brainer, couldn't see any options for doing this at all.

    I'll have to review the other (looooong) AW thread to see what other people advised on this front, since this issue was discussed there in detail.

    Anyway, thanks for throwing that together, J! It was good stuff. I wonder if you want to talk about how much or how little the various recommended GM prep worked out for you in play? I'd like to hear that.
  • edited March 2010
    Yeah my colour fell off the bandwagon, when i felt a little rushed. The whole take over the compound thing began more as fictional constraint, I set up a forward bunker so grabbing hold of that didnt really get the whole thing in my mind at least. Tiredness and lack of blood sugar has some effect.

    Some of the ticking off of clocks, was me trying to show how the damage system works and be transparent and all that . It confused some people, because I made mistakes, but II think everyone worked it out sooner or later.

    The +1 forward thing is kinda a thing thought. Its not that prevalent in the book and its definition was not actually in the book. I would probably prefer if more things did that rather than placing as huge a emphasiss on multible players helping either other. That said the odds are not that bad even at +0 (21/36 or ~60 percent success, +1 , ~ 70%, +2 ~80%, +3 ~90%) althought the difference between 10+ and 7-9 did vary. Sometimes after a 7-9 my move would not seem that hard because it didnt involve conflict (as i didnt want to shoot people atm). But over all I'm pretty happy about the results, the messed up torture roles let micca seem pretty realistic, the angel was surprisingly organic after the hardholder threatened to shoot her little brother if he didnt go on the raid (Fine Fuck you and you can treat your own syphillis fucker was the phrase or something close to it) which lead to me calling out future badness (the angel negotiating for a bike) which lead back to the conflict.

    What I was really surprised about was the whole PC-NPC-PC thing happening pretty much on its own without prodding from me.
    Skinner - Micca - Brainer
    Hardholder - Micca - Brainer
    Hardholder - Dustwich - Skinner
    Hardholder - Angel - everyone (althought this was calling out future badness on my part (FUUUUUUU) I'm kinda glad i didnt hit it harder, because this was more or less when the skinner decided the hold needed a new leader and the brainer decided to do more investigation itto the plague (I think correct me paul). The idea of going with out their stimpacks and bloodpatches frightened people I think.(althought the Angel never did any healing on scene from what i recall, the hardholder started at 6 damage and stayed at 6 damage, I was about to relent and let him go to 4 dmg, then he popped his stiches.
    Chopper - Bluerocks -Skinner
    Skinner - :3 - Brainer

    I think that worked out without me really applying the thumbscrews.

    anyway, I hope this helps others, Its part of the reason I posted it as apposed to just emailing it.

    ~ althought it was good i watched spirited away and pom poko the nights before, I had to play a bunch of girls crying in this damn play, and the miyazaki tears helped :3
  • Posted By: Paul T.I felt really unsure in play what I could do to improve my odds.
    Remember you can read situations and people to get bonuses to doing stuff! This is super useful!
  • Good point. Jonathan.

    However, taking +1 forward from reading a person isn't in my playbook. Is that official? Or do you just mean that it's helpful, in general?

    I think we could have used to do a lot more "reading" in the game: it would have helped add some "real-ness" and detail to almost every scene, especially the combat scenes.
  • Well, this thread has died down for the moment, but I was hoping to talk a little more about this one-shot.

    Like I said, I loved the way it's put together, the game setup is fantastic. However, it felt like there was a lot of large-scale stuff going on, and well over a dozen NPCs (perhaps up to two dozen). That seems like a LOT of stuff for a one-shot game. Is this part of how it's intended to play out, or did we enlarge the scope of play through our own choices?

    While I can see how having that much "world" information can be part of "making Apocalypse World real", in a longer game, within a one-shot situation my feeling was that we had to consciously divide fiction elements like NPCs into those "relevant to the situation/plot", and those not relevant, which felt a little contrived. For instance, in a long-term game it's cool to say "my guy knows 12 NPCs", but in a one-shot we all know that we won't have enough time to interact with all of them, and have to consciously decide which ones are somewhat "plot relevant" and which ones aren't, which goes against the grain of making Apocalypse World feel real and can move dangerously into "investigative, collect the clues"-type play.

    Who else has played the one-shot? Vincent?

    I wonder if this is how it's supposed to go or if we missed something.
  • I think twelve would be exaggerating a little,

    who do we have

    Ambergrease (not really a NPC so much as a threat, never was portrayed on screen just the gang)
    Blindblue (who just was sorta the psychic maelstorm :3 and such and not much beyond that)
    The Angel and her kid brother, Camo
    Whychurch, Jinko, Wire, and Bluerocks (from the chopper gang)
    Rubik, Wooden, Pull, Baa, Brunswich Brother, micca,

    but if we look at those who actually get to a second scene the list is much smaller

    Wire, Bluerocks (just barely) Wooden, Pull, Micca, The Angel, Dustwich

    I'll admit its a bit contrived, but I dont see it so much as finding out who is important so much as making others important. Dustwich was gonna be a no show until the Skinner decided the hardholder needed a replacement, Even bluerocks was just kinda a one shot joke I threw in until you came back to him for help, Pull was simularly comic relief/fall guy as was Wire.

    That said one thing I did end up doing was having half fronts, I only really stated two threats for each of my fronts, and I didnt really use them / get them until pretty late in the game. I tried using the clock as a countdown which worked somewhat but was clunky and I think i more relied on my sense of dnd timing as much as anything. I also ended up adlibing a bit (barrels of jet fuel) which proabbyl should have had full custom moves if I had thought of it, before 3/4 threw the session.

    Also some of the pain was the lack of an angel pc. One of the questions an Angel PC would have answered would have been 'So hows the situation with the waders' to which one of the answers would have been 'they're quarentined'. Looking back I proabbly should have handed out angel before violent people but I know I needed the first 3, and one of you already stated a preference for chopper, so I improvised I guess (the mod itself kinda says this and kinda doesn't,

    _ Announce the character types you’ll be handing out, in this order: hardholder, brainer, skinner, angel, violent person. (If you have fewer than 5 players, the hard-holder, brainer, and skinner are the essential characters.)_

    either way, I think a lot of this was a lack of description from my part which comes down partly to people not realizing that these keywords are there for description sake, and partly to people not realizing the MC also needs the keywords (hey were in a shanty town btw, thanks for letting us know hardholder)
  • Posted By: Paul T.Is that official?
    No idea. John runs it what you get +1 to your next action for each bit of information you learn from a previous role (each question, basically) that is relevant.
  • Actually, that's just for reading a situation. Reading a person doesn't give you any bonuses.

    It could. That's a perfectly fine custom move if you wanted to do that.
  • Hilarious:
    Posted By: jaywaltYou can read situations and people to get bonuses to doing stuff!
    Posted By: Paul T.Is that official?
    Posted By: jaywaltNo idea.
    Jaywalt, how did you get through college without reading books?
  • Posted By: Matt WilsonJaywalt, how did you get through college without reading books?
    I am a member of the Jaywalt School of MCing.
    "Play First, Read Later":/
  • edited March 2010
    I just have some scattered points. I'm sure I'm missing the important questions!

    Yeah, no, there's no way to bring the scenario to a conclusion in a single session. Basically you're playing session 4 of an ongoing game. Apocalypse World is pretty much categorically unsuited to one-shot play, so that's as good as it gets.

    Yes, always read the situation! That +1 can make a risky move into a safe move and a safe move into a sure thing.

    There's no such thing as the MC "pulling his punches." The MC's mandate when you miss a roll is to make as hard and direct a move as he likes, not the meanest move possible.

  • edited March 2010
    Posted By: Logos7(hey were in a shanty town btw, thanks for letting us know hardholder)
    Haha! Quite right.

    Just to be clear, I was commenting on the system, not on your GMing style. You did a great job running the session! Besides, any lack of colour was as much on our shoulders as yours.)

    I just wanted to voice my impression that:

    (1) Despite a lot of talk to the contrary (on Vincent's blog, and otherwhere), I didn't find the game to tie all that much more closely to the fiction (compared to other games). It seemed to require just as much discipline from all of us at the table in order to maintain a "living" fiction. The mechanics did create some great fiction (like when I realized the only way I could make sure Micca wasn't a spy was to molest her while she was tied down to the table), but they didn't necessarily help us all that much to describe those things and bring them to life. I'm curious if our experience there is different from others'. What do you say, others?

    (2) As for the structure of the scenario itself, I think Vincent did an amazing job of giving us a feel of what Apocalypse World might look like several sessions in. But the breadth of material is a lot to navigate in one session. Logos7, you listed about fifteen NPCs there, but you were also leaving out some others who might have been significant, such as the captured warlord Stack, Gramma, the cook (forgot name--but you probably just improvised that one) and Madam Olva. So, we have all kinds of different issues in play, in terms of relationships for each individual PC (e.g. my character's love for Micca), the leadership structure at the holding (including the rivalry between Dustwich and the Hardholder), the issue of the disease spreading among the waders, issues of defenses for the holding, equipment/supplies concerns to deal with, the creepy stuff relating to the psychic maelstrom, internal problems due to the chopper gang stealing our food, and then the danger of a potential fight with Ambergrease (which, on top of all that, is shrouded in mystery). Now, combine that with the fact that we're dealing with a total of 200-300 characters living in close proximity.

    Again, that paints a great picture of what a long-term game of Apocalypse World can develop into. But, to me, that does some harm to its one-shot potential: for me, being embedded in that huge tangled mess made me feel a little like I was "looking for the plot", as happens sometimes in awkwardly "traditional" play. Not because the MC is railroading (Logos7 wasn't), but because we all know we have to wrap things up within the hour or two remaining, and we don't know which strings to grasp at in order to help the group get there together.

    For instance, Micca was an important NPC for my character, but after the initial few scenes where she figured, she disappeared entirely from play, as she wasn't relevant to most of the other issues we had to deal with (the disease, an attack from Ambergrease, the power struggle within the holding). That's one of the reasons I wanted to mention her again at the end of the game; it seemed so unsatisfactory for her to feature so much at the start of the story and never come back into the story.

    So, I'm just curious if other people have played or run the one-shot, and if they've had a similar experience, or, if not, why they think they didn't.

    [edit: cross-posted with Vincent.]
  • edited March 2010
    I wasn't railroading?

    I'm pretty sure that's what fronts are, maybe they should be called rails. Their preparation for when you railroad someone over there.

    Going into the thing, I knew the thing was probably gonna end with ambergrease and the hold fighting and the waders puking all over the place. Perhaps not the most masterful railroading to contain my novel er i mean plans but really, I mean what is Announce future badness but the sound of the train pulling up at the railroad station, what are fronts but the next station and the next station, and the current station in the case of the homefront. I mean sure the players can derail and do whatever the fuck they want, BUT if they do, the fronts keep ticking. Its like saying yeah you can get off the tracks whenever you want but its gonna crash the train.

    Now I know the book says keep you mits off the intellectual property and dont go thinking about owning it (except for all that talk about owning it , which in hindsight, was less useful than say telling me that naming one of the NPCs Chocolate Mint Chip was probably not the wisest thing to do ever or that I should get real real familure with the custom moves in a front)

    That said, I actually think the thing your talking about paul , (the kinda lack of story or good form to the story) I think is actually pretty spot on and not going to be limited to the one shot, because its baked into the idea. if Post apocolyptic is actually Post Modern (or post post modern or whatever you want to call that thing ) then trying to make stories where it all fits together isnt going to work. Its kinda like that scene from madmax where the chopper pulls out this ornate box and pulls out this immaculate colt 45 and loads it and then attacks or whatnot. It was great, but out of the flow, it was almost random. This is perhaps why I have a hard time reconcilling Apocolypse World with Firefly (of course this could all be more telling about me too).

    Anyway thats a bit of a tangent, and the cooks name was cookie (named after cookie the murloc from wow).

    anyway, thoughts are free have some of mine

    Edit: after a moment and sip of cool vanilla soy milk, I realized that I'm not sure if the railroading was coming from me or the vincent. If it is vincent thats either the best game design or the worst game design and im not quite sure which. (if fronts are railroading, the construction of the fronts as apposed to the front itself is still pretty formulaic, its great to say BUT the content comes from the game WHEN the content starts with a few basic facts, A> The World is a shithole, and B> There is no status quo. Its kinda hard to save the Damsel when there is no status quo (to relate this back to pauls querry about micca)
  • Nobody cares about the train. It's purpose in life is to crash spectaculary, not to ferry passengers from point A to point B.

    Boom-boom, not choo-choo.
  • Thats what you say, but truthfully its just the stick instead of the carrot no? Eitherway, it seems like I stepped on someones feelings, I'll bow out.

  • edited March 2010
    I'm not going to touch the railroading thing, but here's my advice on "Hatchet City and the Blind-blue":

    * Anyone who's going to play this scenario NEEDS to know that it's a taste, a slice of life from the middle of an Apocalypse World game. Like a preview or something.
    * Do NOT expect it to wrap up in one session. That expectation does not go well with the scenario as described.
    * If you do want to wrap it up, expect several sessions (probably at least two or three, right?).

    Along those lines, some advice about how far or how fast to advance the countdowns for the threats and fronts for the GM might be useful to include in the scenario.

    Other than that, it's smokin'. Love the setup.
  • Nah, I've no strong feelings regarding the issue. I just like using strong wording because it sounds cool.

    Here's the same thing, in more words: Fronts are not about railroading. They're a ticking countdown clock that tells you, the MC, what will happen if the PCs don't do something. The general expectation is usually that they *will* do something that'll change what you have planned... But on the occasions that they don't, and start sitting around there asking "so, now what?", you can just look at your sheet, advance some of your front clocks and say "and now THIS happens!".
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